Hall-Mark not alone

5 other business entities also plundered over Tk 345cr from the same Sonali branch; ACC to file 26 cases

The Anti-Corruption Commission will file 26 cases against several top officials of Sonali Bank and five business entities for misappropriating more than Tk 345 crore of depositors’ money, said an ACC high-up.

The sum is funded portion [an amount given in cash] of the Tk 3,547 crore credit that the five firms and Hall-Mark Group swindled from Sonali Bank’s Ruposhi Bangla Hotel branch with the help of some bank officials using forged documents between October last year and May this year, according to an ACC enquiry.

T and Brothers swindled Tk 317.52 crore, Paragon Knit Composite Ltd and its sister concern Tk 13.58 crore, DN Sports and its sister concern Tk 2.81 crore, Nakshi Knit and Composite Ltd and its sister concerns Tk 10.81 crore and Khanjahan Ali Sweater Ltd Tk 1.14 crore.

ACC Commissioner Mohammad Badiuzzaman told The Daily Star that 26 cases will be lodged this week under anti-money laundering and corruption prevention acts in connection with the misappropriation of more than Tk 345 crore.

If convicted, the accused might have to spend up to 10 years in prison, and their moveable and immovable properties might also be confiscated.

In May, a Bangladesh Bank probe revealed serious irregularities at Sonali Bank’s Ruposhi Bangla Hotel branch in sanctioning and disbursing loans of Tk 3,547 crore to the five firms and Hall-Mark. Of the amount, Hall-Mark took Tk 2,686 crore showing fake documents.

On October 4, the ACC filed 11 cases against 27 top officials of Sonali Bank and Hall-Mark for misappropriating over Tk 1,568 crore [funded portion of Tk 2,686 crore].

ACC sources said 14 cases will be filed against T and Brothers Chairman Jinath Fatema and her two sons Touhid Hossain, managing director of the company, and Taslim Hasan, director of the firm.

The ACC enquiry found that they had misappropriated depositors’ money showing fake documents in inland bill purchase (IBP), payment against document and pre-shipment credit.

The trio prepared fake documents posing as both buyers and sellers of their non-existent sister concerns, including Dress Me, and misappropriated depositors’ money.

Five cases will be filed against Paragon Knit Composite Ltd Managing Director Saiful Hasan Raja, and its directors Abdullah Al Mamun and Mukul Hossain.

According to the ACC enquiry, they prepared fake documents to open IBP against their nonexistent sister concerns — Mondal Traders, Paragon Printing and Packaging, and Paragon Knit Ltd.

Three cases will be lodged against DN Sports Chairman Motaher Uddin Chowdhury, his daughter Mahmida Akhter Shikha, director of the company, and her husband Shafiqur Rahman, managing director of the firm, for misappropriating money showing fake documents.

Three more cases will be filed against Nakshi Knit Chairman Amena Begum, her husband Mohammad Abdul Latif, managing director of the company, and his brother Jamir Hussain, director of the firm, for swindling money through four nonexistent sister concerns.

One case will be lodged against Khanjahan Ali Sweater Ltd Chairman Tajul Islam, its Managing Director Jalil Sheikh, and directors Rafiqul Islam and Mir Mohammad Shawkat Ali.

Sonali Bank’s Ruposhi Bangla Hotel branch ex-manager AKM Azizur Rahman, assistant general manager Saiful Hasan and executive officer Md Abdul Matin will be accused in all 26 cases, along with some high officials of the bank’s head office, said ACC sources.

However, the names of the high-ups of the bank’s head office could not be known immediately.

Following its investigation in May, the central bank instructed Sonali Bank to take necessary action against 31 of its officials.

Later, Sonali Bank carried out a functional audit in its Ruposhi Bangla Hotel branch, and found that Azizur Rahman and Saiful Hasan had extended unauthorised loans to Hall-Mark and five other companies.

The audit report said the branch manager showed utter negligence to banking rules in sanctioning those loans.

On August 30, Sonali Bank suspended 17 of its officials over the fraud.

Source:The Daily Star